Post-colonial talk back: seeing London in the South Seas

Despite the problematic relationship between Pacific Islanders and the British empire, New Zealand’s poet laureate saw a meeting with the queen as an opportunity for connection

She has the most recognisable face in contemporary Western history and she’s almost within my reach. The longest-reigning British monarch and I share a few things: we are both seated in Westminster Abbey (founded in 960); we share the same birthday (on 21 April 2016); and we are both wearing blue in a sea of black and beige, as observed by many an attendee afterwards.

“My dear, how politic of you to wear the royal blue.”

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NT police made 16 alerts about home in which toddler was allegedly raped

Most notifications related to domestic violence, and Territory Families determined the child could remain at home

Northern Territory police alerted welfare services 16 times over 18 months with concerns about the family of a two-year-old Tennant Creek girl, who was allegedly raped last week by an adult man.

The police confirmed they had made 20 notifications related to the girl’s family, including the 16 to Territory Families, from the time the girl was two months old till a few months ago.

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Barnaby Joyce made the right decision, says Malcom Turnbull

Prime minister says there are no problems between the Nationals and Liberals as Trump praises US-Australia relations

The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, says he is looking forward to working with the new leader of the National party after the resignation of Barnaby Joyce.

Speaking to reporters in Washington DC on Friday (early Saturday AEDT) just hours before meeting the US president, Donald Trump, at the White House, Turnbull thanked Joyce for his service as deputy prime minister.

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The Empire Strips Back: how a Star Wars parody took the burlesque world by storm

Luke Skywalker twerks to Nicki Minaj. A dominatrix Darth Vader struts her stuff. Film fans are packing out performances of a show that combines cosplay with comedy

Lights flash like laser beams. AC/DC’s Highway to Hell booms so loudly that the chairs in the theatre seems to move in time to the music. Onstage, a female Boba Fett performs a strip routine with actual flames. A female Luke Skywalker enters, bends over seductively and twerks along to a Nicki Minaj song as she scrubs her Landspeeder.

The crowd – a mix of couples, tie-loosened workmates, tipsy sci-fi hobbyists and burlesque aficionados – have gathered for a single, united goal: to watch their favourite Star Wars characters drop trou, don nipple tassels and swing lightsabers to a selection of pop hits and film-score highlights.

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Complaints about NDIS soar amid anger at delays to payments

Report shows gripes about the disability scheme rose sharply although 83% say their experience was good or very good

Complaints about the national disability insurance scheme have increased again, driven by growing anger at delays within the agency handling the landmark reform.

A new report released this week showed there were 3,880 complaints made directly to the National Disability Insurance Agency [NDIA], which manages the NDIS, in the three months to December.

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Michael McCormack makes pitch to replace Barnaby Joyce

Nationals MP asks colleagues to rally around him as David Gillespie confirms he will also throw his hat in the ring

The New South Wales Nationals MP Michael McCormack has urged his colleagues to unify around him as Barnaby Joyce’s replacement, declaring he is a “fighter” and has “the drive to deliver”.

With Joyce bowing to the inevitable on Friday and confirming that he will quit his leadership positions and go to the backbench after two weeks of ceaseless controversy about his private life, McCormack is considered to be the frontrunner to replace him.

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Nauru mould problem was of ‘epic proportions’, microbiologist says

Dr Cameron Jones, who was contracted by Transfield, says his 225-page report on the problem was covered up

The microbiologist contracted to assess the mould in the Nauru immigration centre says the contamination was “of epic proportions” and presented a serious health hazard to those in the camp, but that his report on the problem was covered up.

Former staff have said they have been left with cognitive impairment and chronic lung infections after living and working in contaminated buildings, and one former teacher has said her career has been derailed by the ill-health she has suffered from her time on the island.

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